An event focused on the delivery of affordable, environmentally responsible housing. Organised by The Scottish Ecological Design Association and the Gaia Group.
The Scottish Government has committed to beginning work on a vision of how homes and communities will look in 2040 and how to get there (Housing Beyond 2021). Gaia Research with The Scottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA) are hosting an event to bring together inspiration – from successful and innovative housing initiatives in the UK and Europe – with information on how change can be facilitated and the design qualities required to ensure our housing is environmentally and demographically future proofed.
For the last 60 years housing in Scotland has been driven by quantity. For the last 40 years housing in Scotland has been dominated by a small number of volume housebuilders. In the last 20 years there has been growing dissatisfaction with the lack of affordable, environmentally benign and future-proofed social housing in Scotland. This concern is widespread amongst central government, local government, the many agencies that this affects, and communities. Meanwhile rents, buy-to-lets and homelessness continue to rise.
Many people want and need affordable, future proofed housing that addresses 21st-century issues – in particular environmental and demographic changes. Many more are appalled at the wrong kind of housing in the wrong place, the eating up of green belt by housing that imposes outdated transport solutions at costs unaffordable to many, and their increasing environmental and social impacts. Concerns about climate change are vital aspects of future proofing, as is the aging population.
In Germany and Switzerland, where homelessness was once a major concern, there has been a commitment to see housing as an underpinning right and essential foundation of a healthy society. There are numerous projects from which Scotland could potentially learn a great deal. However, the innovations they illustrate are widely perceived as “too difficult” to achieve in Scotland.
Scotland’s housing – More than just numbers will address the perception that a right to affordable, future-proofed housing “would never work here” by providing a forum in which to debate what we need to do to make it work here. It will look to the advice and experience of leaders in this field, and to agree the institutions, mechanisms and actors that need to be put in place to overcome the current barriers.
The changes being set in place in Scotland – in part generated by the Land Commission – and initiatives such as consideration of Compulsory Purchase Orders for under-utilised land are setting an interesting context for this discussion now. The two immediate building-related contexts are:
- Community self build – new build
- Community self-build – refurbishment (this could range from a group wishing to renovate an old building, to those living in a street of ex-mining houses)
The target audience for the event includes community groups, housing associations, representatives of mature and fledgling co-housing and co-operative housing groups, developers, local authorities and relevant Scottish Government departments. We invite your participation to ask the questions that need to be asked and to share your knowledge of how to move forward.
For further information contact Professor Sandy Liddell Halliday CEng Hon FRIAS: [email protected]